Until now I used 26" rim with Schwalbe Fat Frank and Big Apple (range 2.15"-2.35"). Except for initial prying when removing tire I can perform all operations with my bare hands without a sweat.

Today to my surprise I literally fought to remove WTB Resolute 42C from the rim (28") and risked breaking the tire lever when inserting back Specialized Sawtooth 42C tire.

Why such difference? Is it old vs. new? Wide vs. narrow? Or is it just this particular tire against other one and there is simply no rule.

5 Answers 5


There is a small acceptable range of bead diameters for a given rim size, hence some tires are a little bit loose, some are tight.


I rode a few different tires so far and they always felt different depending on the rubber mix and the rim I used. maybe the flanks of the rim are a bit higher?


Noone's mentioned age/mileage. A new tyre can be extremely stubborn to fit, but they will conform to your wheel a little over time.

After a few months they will get easier - perhaps never "easy" but definitely easier.


On an older bike there's the non-trivial possibility that the tire is simply the wrong size. This is especially likely on older 26" wheels -- those where the original tire width was stated as a fraction. Sheldon:

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I have also experienced different effort requirements and I thought they were because of small variations in their build, or other factors like temperature and humidity.

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